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Female imperial family members to be barred from key succession rite

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Dear Japan,

It’s 2019. Get with the times.

Many thanks.

27 ( +41 / -14 )

Female imperial family members to be barred from key succession rite

In contrast, the government will allow female cabinet ministers to participate in the rite on the grounds that they are unrelated to the imperial succession and would be attending as observers.

Wow, imperial Japan family! Logic much?

12 ( +24 / -12 )

Good old Japan! And yet, people here gripe when you point out how far behind Japan lags the rest of the world in terms of gender equality -- more than two times lower than China in a ranking of 144 or so countries. I'm willing to bet Abe will even fire or replace the one female cabinet member to avoid this being an issue -- all the while pretending his "womenomics" was actually a thing.

14 ( +29 / -15 )

Japan will celebrate a new era by keeping everything the same. Mostly the most backward way of thinking. Of course.

21 ( +30 / -9 )

Wing ‘out of touch’ is something of an understatement.....

1 ( +10 / -9 )

What else do you expect when the average age of the IHA is over 80!

and minor members customarily do not take part in succession rites.

Minor member?? Try calling your wife a minor member once. I'd be sleeping outside for a week.

17 ( +27 / -10 )

I guess this is part of their campaign to create a society where women can shine?

11 ( +21 / -10 )

Well what do you expect from an institutionally misogynistic and sexist society, they seem to forget that Japans first empress Amaterasu was a woman.. hello? it's 2019 out there in the world.

11 ( +21 / -10 )

The ironic thing about this is that their imperial legitimacy stems from the belief that they are all descended from a sun GODDESS, not a GOD! Go figure..

19 ( +27 / -8 )

"if she remains in the post." I feel she's on borrowed time in the cabinet.

10 ( +17 / -7 )

The last thing you'd want when being made an Emperor is your family there to witness the event? Much better to have an audience of old men gloating that they are there. A society in which all can shine? It is cute just how out of touch with reality Japan's leaders are.

5 ( +16 / -11 )

Their thinking is archaic and their logic faulty.

Females family members can't attend because they are ineligible to ascend to the throne. Cabinet ministers are also ineligible to ascend to he throne.

Why can one ineligible group observe but not the other?

15 ( +23 / -8 )

"...because the Imperial Household Law stipulates that only males can ascend the throne..."

Therein lies the root of the problem.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

If I were the Emperor, I wouldn't want the succession ceremony befouled and sullied by the presence of Abe and his cronies.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

The logic of this is so ridiculous, it overshadows everything else.

Perhaps this is deliberate. People will be just too confused to complain.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Well what do you expect from an institutionally misogynistic and sexist society

At the end of the day, the JT crowd reveals what it thinks. Most of you hate Japan and Japanese culture. I hate to say “Love it or leave it” but if you’re not really obligated to be here...

That’s what all this talk of “progress” and “change” is about. But if you change Japan’s social constructs to match your new social constructs, then what? Japan won’t be Japan anymore. Four seasons and sushi does not a culture make.

-11 ( +16 / -27 )

Silver lining is that the ladies won't have to attend that boring ceremony,,,

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

"But excluding female members could be viewed as being out of touch with the times." I love tongue-in-cheek humor...

5 ( +11 / -6 )

@Joe Blow

Do you think any Japanese women or men who disagree with this are filled with hatred for their culture?

Do you fancy a crack ar explaining the logic of this?

I’d love to hear it.

13 ( +21 / -8 )

"Imperial Household Law"

Laws are made by governments that supposedly apply to all citizens. The Imperial Houshold is not the government, therefore these are just rules. If you're a member of the Imperial Family you have to obey their rules. This particular rule is pretty dumb.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Maybe Prince Naruhito will have a say in the anachronistic shenanigans of the geriatric IHA and shake 'em up after he ascends the throne. I'm looking forward to his pronouncements on WW2 ( his grandfather's war ) and how the Japanese might reevaluate their dark legacy from the past.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Shameful. What a disgrace

1 ( +11 / -10 )

I just don’t even know what to say or make of this. It’s 2019 terrible for a so called modernized country to do something like this. Smh....

2 ( +11 / -9 )

But excluding female members could be viewed as being out of touch with the times.

Naaah...according to the dinosaurs that are in charge of everything here the calendar seems stuck in around 1919 so its perfectly fitting. Hopeless , contrast this with the European royal families.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

"Well what do you expect from an institutionally misogynistic and sexist society"

At the end of the day, the JT crowd reveals what it thinks. Most of you hate Japan and Japanese culture. I hate to say “Love it or leave it” but if you’re not really obligated to be here.

Sorry, Joe Blow, but I cannot see any other description for Japan being institutationally misogynistic and sexist. The very topic of this discussion demonstates that Japan is institutionally sexist - it has rules in place that discriminiate against women. "Misogynistic" is probably a slightly harder one to prove subjectively, but given where Japan sits in the world sexual equality rankings, the way women are often portrayed in the press and in entertainment media, suggests that it is.

You can love Japan and still feel this. The "if you don't like it, leave" argument has been so well put to bed on this site over the years that it is a waste of time refuting it again.

10 ( +18 / -8 )

The "if you don't like it, leave" argument has been so well put to bed on this site over the years that it is a waste of time refuting it again.

Priceless. :-)

13 ( +21 / -8 )

No surprise. The message to women being you aren’t important and are considered minor members of the royal family. I have a middle digit for you Imperial Household Agency.

2 ( +14 / -12 )

One way to obtain progress and quash these issues is to abobdon the institution.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Would make perfect sense if Empress Michiko & co were busy preparing the canapes and petit-fours but they'll probably get a mix pack of party pies and sausage rolls at their local supermarket. No valid excuse then!

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

That’s what all this talk of “progress” and “change” is about. But if you change Japan’s social constructs to match your new social constructs, then what? Japan won’t be Japan anymore.

Or perhaps you're just down with "Japan social constructs" or don't have any women in your life who you respect enough to go to bat for them.

But god help those of us with the temerity to urge even a modicum of change, change that would directly benefit many of our loved ones. Far better to consent, bark out shouganai and embrace everything about Japan, without fail. Why worry about women being treated as second-class citizens when the cherry blossoms are so purty, or in light of all the compliments I receive about my amazing use of chopsticks.

We really should know our place, after all.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

to be barred" is nice emotional language.  Like they are standing outside clamouring to attend.......

Rather "will not be invited to attend"..........  Not sure I share the outrage on this.  Who says they want to attend anyway?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Japan won’t be Japan anymore.

since when is it justified to discriminating against women when the culture norm excuse is applied, Saudi Arabia is one of the worst at women oppression do we accept that because they claim its their culture!? Woman have shown they are just as smart and talented at leading as men, why do men continually hide behind cultural norms to justify this oppression!?

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Because Japan

4 ( +11 / -7 )

The "if you don't like it, leave" argument has been so well put to bed on this site over the years that it is a waste of time refuting it again.

actually I like when they use that excuse , becuase it just shows they dont have any logical explanations to support their claims.

as comedian Jim Jefferies stated when confronted with this same statement "if you don't like it, leave"

No! I came here legally ,I dont break any laws, I pay my taxes, Ill say whatever I want!

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Well if you check your Japanese history there are 8 women who have acsended to the Christhanim Throne (2 of them having done it twice). So this is pure bull feces.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

The government will allow only male adults from the imperial family to attend the ceremony because the Imperial Household Law stipulates that only males can ascend the throne and minor members customarily do not take part in succession rites.

Why wait to be told? Female Imperial family members should boycott any such ceremonies until their right to ascension is granted. Their status is nothing but ceremonial in nature these days, so denying half (or more) of the constituency from attending in ceremonial affairs essentially invalidates their continued existence at all.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Imperial Household Law is from 1947, I thought... if that is correct, then this custom doesn’t have such an ancient tradition.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Rather than downvoting anything that appears to be a vague criticism of Japan, would the group of 5 who downvote each comment be prepared to step forward and state why Japan is not institutionally sexist? Or if they agree that it is, why this is a good thing?

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Hell if women are not important enough or have status enough to attend ceremonies, why not bring back the concubine system, demote them to objects, sperm recepticles.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

By the way that was sarcasm before everyone gives me a thumbs down.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

The only time women get to shine in Japan is when they are given a cloth and a can of polish by a man.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I can see why I get thumbs down on my most recent posts, I expected that, but how can you thumbs down history, Wikipedia, look it up!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

wtfjapan: "actually I like when they use that excuse , becuase it just shows they dont have any logical explanations to support their claims."

Exactly! I mean, if they actually believed in what they preach or say, why would they be here, reading and commenting on threads when they aren't obligated to?

And maybe those people came to Japan BECAUSE they love the outdated, sexist, pre-war mentality, another irony being they'll never be accepted because of the people the espouse it, and never accepted by others because they condone it.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Womenomics? only a word, a convenient, though meaningless sound bite.

Banning women from the most memorable aspect of the ceremony is not going set the wedding bells ringing.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If fact I would not be surprised if a number of male VIP's are rendered unconscious from a glancing blow from a stray handbag.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan, don't let the haters make you feel bad for being 40 years behind the rest of First World countries.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

'Knock knock' Hello Japan, this is the 21st century. Let me in! Come on, open up!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I see nothing wrong with the Imperial family having the male only ascension ceremony. It’s part of the centuries old imperial tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation of emperors and shouldn’t be judged by today’s values.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

21st century in Japan, no , it is cave man century in Japan. Such nonsense, I wonder , how are males born ??? in Japan ??? by men ???.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@Meiyouwenti

You do know that Japan has had several female Empresses in the past - what were they not allowed to attend there own ascension ceremonies.

I love the counter arguments about "If you don't like it leave..." - well my counter argument to that would be that times do eventually change (even in Japan)...we are no longer living in a shogun era, are we? Why?? because times change.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

What we need, for some real change towards women, is to have some Japanese man pick up his sack and say, "My mother, wife and daughter are all equal to me." And the new Emperor Naruhito should be the first to say this.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

In contrast, the government will allow female cabinet ministers to participate in the rite on the grounds that they are unrelated to the imperial succession and would be attending as observers.

A political compromise? At least political expediency, so not to be seen to totally alienate the female vote. Essentially an equivocation .

These decisions were not always at the sole discretion of Government. Traditionally, centuries past, who would have been the authority in deciding who attends the ceremony?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sime Japanese’s traditions never chance !

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Rather than downvoting anything that appears to be a vague criticism of Japan, would the group of 5 who downvote each comment be prepared to step forward and state why Japan is not institutionally sexist?

Nah...the LDP propaganda net uyoku lads prefer to roll in private mostly.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Japan, what an embarrassment. Note; most countries are working toward equality. Change is the only way forward.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

When I was doing military training in college, there were these two pretty socialite girls that are way stronger than I am. Reminds me always to respect women because they can be better than me in so many ways

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It's funny in a sad way that it is called a "government decision"

I guess the government is saying in an indirect way way that female succession to the throne of emperor will not be aloud.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Prince Fumihito, the 53-year-old younger son of the emperor, and Prince Hitachi, the 83-year-old younger brother of the emperor, will be the only participants from the imperial family.

There must be more to this story. At least I hope there is. Only two Imperial Family members are going to be present - that’s it. I don’t understand why women are still being banned from assuming the throne. But there will be a female cabinet member present for the Kenji to Shokei no Gi ceremony so there isn’t a blanket ban on females. Also for the Sokui go Choken no Gi ritual the adult male and female members will all be there.

More details Please.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It is a private matter, and sovereignty matter and cultural matter, has nothing to with women right. Japanese women have more freedom than the west, and are more happier than the west.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Why would the imperial family allows the Japanese government dictate such term for this event? Would the imperial family members have enough courage and honor to grow a backbone and boycott this event or tell the Japanese government to back off?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

40 years behind? more like 400 yrs behind...

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Not sure about this. This should be a time of NATIONAL CELEBRATION.

The Imperial Household Agency are the trouble makers here, not so much the Government itself.

Abe San is the mouth piece for this Agency.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

DMan112: I love the counter arguments about "If you don't like it leave..." - well my counter argument to that would be that times do eventually change (even in Japan)...we are no longer living in a shogun era, are we? Why?? because times change.

I think the point here is that the majority of the people boiling with righteous indignation about Japan on this site are current or former expatriates or people from other countries with an interest in Japan. In other words ‘foreigners.’ If you are a foreigner and are pissed at the Japanese for their culture and traditions - you are free to leave. The Japanese are not forcing you to live in a country you find so culturally inferior. Is it that infuriating to you that everyone doesn’t see the world the same way you do?

I share the belief of many here that it would be great for there to be female Empresses again. I don’t see any reason why there are restrictions on female family members. But who am I to criticize? It’s not my country. There are people in Japan that are shaping their nations culture and future. The Western Left should mind their own business. If the Left isn’t complaining about the goings on in other countries they are busy complaining about Americans and Europeans interfering in other nations affairs.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@iword99

Would the imperial family members have enough courage and honor to grow a backbone and boycott this event or tell the Japanese government to back off?

Japan's "Emperor" isn't like the Emperors of China or Europe.

Japan's Emperor is more akin to the Pope than a Monarch, whose official duty is to head the Shinto religion and pray for dead souls.

Japan's political leaders with actual powers have been various Shoguns, then the Choshu militarists during the Imperial Japan era, Gaijin Shogun MacArthur, and now Abe san.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

But excluding female members could be viewed as being out of touch with the times.

Ya think?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Who cares, I am not going and I am male

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Meiyouwenti

I see nothing wrong with the Imperial family having the male only ascension ceremony. It’s part of the centuries old imperial tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation of emperors and shouldn’t be judged by today’s values.

Yes. A "centuries old tradition" in a millenia+ old dynasty. Why should they be stuck with some new tradtion instituted only centuries ago?

(as pointed out by so many above - the men only rule is new.)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Spending tax money on gender equality seminars, info materials, and such while doing the opposite makes me angry and disappointed. This BS and the generally passive society makes me wish that all my off springs are male, atleast they'll have one less thing to struggle.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japanese women have more freedom than the west, and are more happier than the west.

yet the continue to have fewer children, as long as they dont want any positions of power or influence in society and are subservient to men.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Don't the women look stunning in those beautiful silk Kimonos though.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Grow up Japan!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

They could have set a good example but, as is typical, they dropped the ball. Not unexpected but disappointing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How delightfully archaic!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The government will allow only male adults from the imperial family to attend the ceremony because the Imperial Household Law stipulates that only males can ascend the throne

In contrast, the government will allow female cabinet ministers to participate in the rite on the grounds that they are unrelated to the imperial succession and would be attending as observers.

It sounds to me like a clear message that female succession is not on the table for serious consideration anytime soon.

Times change. As others have pointed out, there have been female emperors here and there in history, succession rules have also evolved over time. When conservatives say "tradition" their meaning includes "the way things are at present" a good deal of which dates from the Meiji era and later from the postwar Occupation. Ironically the major changes wrought at both those times--considered "tradition" now--were to bring customs more in line with Western norms. Western norms at those times. Norms from 1860s Prussia and 1940s-50s U.S. are different from those regions' norms now of course.

It's a funny shuffle getting these kinds of things decided: the imperial family can't overtly do anything to influence government policies but the current and future doubtful succession situation will likely necessitate changes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Wolfpack: " Is it that infuriating to you that everyone doesn’t see the world the same way you do?"

It's infuriating to the posters who insist you leave if you Don't love and praise everything, and have criticism of anything. That's the point, which you missed. The people who rightfully say this non-argument is absurd contrarily Believe you can love a place, person, or thing and still be able to object to aspects of it (him/her).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

THIS IS BARELY A ROYAL CEREMONY AND CLEARLY NOT AN IMPERIAL ONE

°

Japan should be careful, Emperor is a legal rank as much as a religious rank. The world have evolved. Normally, the emperor rank is now lost. You are just left with a king.

This is discrimination in nature that nature don't pull, so you are as dishonored as you are dishonoring your wife and mother ; and degraded.

Japan should be carefull of brittish advisors. It is impossible to keep your capitalism in check and a democraty with only a royal rank. Violence will grow fast from now on.

Change of emperorship is about progress. No change here is a real problem.

Women should refuse to go to the coronation and the future empress can refuse the crown for the lie behind its real rank. JapanWomen go on strike for your freedom and equality !

°

NCM

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What do these people do again?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Isn't it time to ABOLISH all the UNELECTED royal species ?

They are merely remnants of archaic systems seized by ruthless despots !

Emperors, kings,queens,princes,etc never do anything good for the masses

they live in luxurious guarded palaces and castles while the ordinary hard-

working people struggle to survive !

Welsh expat foreign correspondent Asia pacific.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As someone who first learned Japanese history from Marxist influenced texts, I find the indignation being expressed here more than a little amusing. Is not a hereditary aristocracy a feudal anachronism? Even if women could ascend to the throne it would still be a feudal anachronism, would it not?

And, if anyone has a right to demand change, is it not Japanese women? AFIK Japanese women are not bothered by the current system and some are actually outspoken defenders of it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The head of the Empire and the Commonwealth has almost always been a women, and you can't call England old fashioned, to go as far as to ban people from the Ceremony on gender grounds, when they are actual family is absurd.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun and the original empress, was the origin of the imperial family. Until the unexpected (possibly genetically manipulated?) birth of the crown prince's nephew a few years ago, the succession WAS going to be given to a woman in succession to the this crown prince to be crowned in 2019. Look at that line of floral goddesses in the picture... I think Amaterasu was trying to say something.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

From the Revolvy.com page about this debate. Below I have summarized some of the relevant points, or you can read all about the history at:

https://www.revolvy.com/page/Japanese-absolute-primogeniture-debate

"The Asahi Shimbun published an editorial in May 2006[1] suggesting that the current system was unsustainable. In an Asahi Shimbun survey in March 2006, 82% of the respondents supported the revision of the Imperial Household Law to allow a woman to ascend to the Imperial Throne.[2] Then Prime Minister Junichirō Koizumi also strongly supported the revision, pledging to present a bill to the 2006 session of the parliament.[3]" In September of that year, the now 13-year-old Prince Hisahito was born.

In the recorded history of Japan, 8 women have served as empress of the country, the last one in 1771.

The current law against women taking up this role was created in 1947 after the end of the Second World War, and had been exacerbated (as were so many disappearing traditional aspects of Japan) by the Meiji Restoration.

Please correct me if I wrongly understood any of this information. All of it was taken from the website referenced above.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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